Knoxville, Tenn.--(UTSports) Five former Tennessee football stars have been named to the 2013 NFL All-Fundamentals Team. Honored this season are safety Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs, punter Dustin Colquitt of the Kansas City Chiefs, quarterback Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, return specialist Cordarelle Patterson of the Minnesota Vikings and tight end Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys
USA Football honors 26 NFL players - 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams - who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth players to emulate.
The fifth annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team recognizes NFL players who employ proper technique, particularly when blocking and tackling, which fosters better on-field performance and inherent safety benefits.
Berry was recognized as the strong safety for how he supports the run defense while Colquitt was acknowledged for how he changes the field position with punts for the Chiefs.
Manning's trait that was singled out was his stellar ability of reading the defense.
Patterson's field vision and ability to set up blocks make him one of the most fundamentally sound kick returners in the NFL.
Finding holes in the zone defense is the reason why Witten was selected to the team.
Each player chosen for the All-Fundamentals Team will receive a $1,500 equipment grant from USA Football to donate to the youth or high school football program of his choice. USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, is the official youth football development partner of the Vikings, the NFL and each of the league's other 31 teams.
A fan vote will determine All-Fundamentals Team captains at www.facebook.com/usafootball. Fans may vote for one captain on offense, defense and special teams. USA Football will award each of the three captains a $3,000 equipment grant to donate and an All-Fundamentals Team helmet trophy. Voting is open through Jan. 29.
Employing core football fundamentals advances a youth player's performance and safety, particularly in the areas of blocking and tackling. USA Football has educated more than 110,000 youth football coaches in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., through its online courses and single-day coaching clinics. Approximately 3 million American children age 6-14 play organized tackle football, placing it among the country's most popular youth sports.
The USA Football All-Fundamentals Team was assembled with guidance from a five-person selection committee:
CHARLES DAVIS, Former Vols star defensive back USA Football spokesperson, football analyst for NFL Network and FOX Sports
HERM EDWARDS, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL head coach
MERRIL HOGE, USA Football board member, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL running back
CARL PETERSON, USA Football chairman, former NFL team executive and assistant coach
BILL POLIAN, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL general manager
More on past USA Football All-Fundamentals Team players' techniques is available at: www.usafootball.com/all-fundamentals-team
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